I’ve started another snake carving, on a piece of twisted wood a carver brought me from south Arkansas. I roughly carved and shaped the entire body and head somewhat following the shape of the wood that had been twisted by the vines around it. I used a knife to strip the bark and then followed that with large bit in my rotary grinder to remove all the bark and stuff. I like to make sure the body and head are shaped fairly realistically, and I really don’t worry too much about the branch it is wrapped around; I’m not trying to make the branch look that natural. Mostly because I generally don’t have enough wood left after getting the snake to have a full body shape! I like to get the body and head shaped and smoothed before I start carving the details and burning the scales in. The undercutting I do with knives, helps the body appear to be more around the wood, rather than just a piece of the stick or something that is part of the stick. The little shadows and details had a lot of movement to it. I’ll post more pictures when I get further along. Thanks for looking!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mpounders1.blogspot.com